Turning shavings


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Established Member
27 Jul 2016
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Bromley Kent
This is a highly untechnical question, do any of you put your turning shavings onto your gardens?
I heard that woody stuff could go onto compost heaps, so thought that a mountain of oak shavings I was making could go on my raised beds as a mulch. This year my crop of beans has been miserable and was wondering if it was because they don't like shavings. Could this be true?
If it turns out I can't put shavings on the garden, is there anything useful I can do with them?
It takes a lot of nitrogen to break them down. When they are fresh, this is pulled from the soil which may explain the poor bean performance.

I would suggest a separate compost heap for them and add them to the soil when they are broken down. Adding some nitrogen to the heap would help speed it up a bit
Shouldn't make too much difference to beans, though, they store nitrogen rather than deplete it. Urine works well on chippings.

edit - thinking about it, many people line bean trenches with newspaper. If wood takes nitrogen to break it down I would imagine paper does as well.
my beans were totally hopeless this year as well......along with the courgettes.....tomatoes so, so....
only long peppers did well....
plan for next year is raised beds and old manure.....
I am no expert gardener, and I have always spread turnings on my garden with no apparent problems arising. After a few weeks they seem to be absorbed. Having said that, I have read conflicting advice about this ; some says that using turnings/ clippings can lead to reduction of nitrogen in the soil, requiring it to be replaced. Other sources say that this problem is not serious.
There is plenty of advice on the Royal Horticultural Society website, and a bit on the Finewoodworking website.
An alternative to putting it on your garden could be giving it away to people who keep rabbits, guinea pigs and the like.
Keep producing.
Best wishes
Thank you for all your opinions, especially that its not just my beans!
I think I'll add the shavings to the compost heap and not be so impatient.
This is a wonderful forum, I wonder if there are any questions that don't get thoughtful replies.
Some of mine go down the allotment as a mulch under the fruit trees though on top of a weed membrane.